مجلة العلوم الانسانية
Volume 10, Numéro 18, Pages 7-32

The Little "extra" He Had: Fitzgerald’s Craft In "bernice Bobs Her Hair"

Authors : Ramadan Susanne .

Abstract

Writing for high-paying magazines in the 1920s took patience and thick skin. Even though the writing process could be long and tiring with many revisions and editorial cuts, the potential financial rewards were considerable. Popular magazines in the 1920s and 1930s paid top dollar for stories that conformed with the magazine's requirements and limitations. Fitzgerald, who was among the highest paid magazine fiction writers of the 1920s, found a way to overcome the magazines' conservatism. In writing his stories, he followed a simplistic and undeviating pattern with "snappy climaxes" and surprise endings, leaving a smile on the readers' faces. This craft, unfortunately, has not yet been given enough attention. One can by no means judge the excellence of Fitzgerald's craftsmanship by confining oneself to one well-crafted short story, yet, if one is asked for a specimen of an excellent short story, "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" constitutes an excellent choice. This study will examine "Bernice Bobs Her Hair," one of Fitzgerald's best, though sadly neglected stories and will show how this author not only mastered the techniques of the commercial story, but was also able to tailor his story in a way to meet the tastes and interests of his contemporary audience. كان يتطلب النشر في المجلات دافعة الأجور العالية في الربع الأول من القرن العشرين الكثير من الصبر والصمود، على الرغم من ان النشر لم يكن أمرأ سهلاً في حينه بسبب التنقيح المركز والرقابة الحثيثة من قبل المحررين في المجلات المعنية، إلا أن العوائد المادية على المؤلفين الذين كانوا يستطعوا النشر قيها كانت مجدية. إذ كانت هذه المجلات تكافئ من يلتزم بضوابطها و بمتطلباتها بمبالغ طائلة. إن تميز فتسجرالد بأسلوبه السردي منحه احترافية منقطعة النظير ودخلاً عالياً بين أقرانه من الكتاب في عصره ممن كانوا يتنافسون على النشر في هذه المجلات. اعتمد الكاتب في القصص التي كان ينشرها في المجلات الأدبية واسعة الانتشار نمطاً موحداَ يتميز بذروات سريعة، ونهايات مفاجئة ترسم بسمة على شفاه القراء. ولكن براعتيه الاحترافية المميزة لم تلقى اهتماما كافياً من قبل النقاد والباحثين في الأدب. تهدف هذه الدراسة إلى إبراز الاحترافية والبراعة في كتابته للقصص التجارية في المجلات الواسعة الانتشار، التي ميزت فتسجرالد عن باقي كتاب عصره، ليس من خلال دراسة الأعمال المشهورة له وإنما من خلال تحليل قصة " برنيس تصّفف شعرها قصيراً" التي لم يسلّط عليها الضوء من قبل النقاد على الإطلاق. Writing for high-paying magazines in the 1920s took patience and thick skin. Even though the writing process could be long and tiring with many revisions and editorial cuts, the potential financial rewards were considerable. Popular magazines in the 1920s and 1930s paid top dollar for stories that conformed with the magazine's requirements and limitations. Fitzgerald, who was among the highest paid magazine fiction writers of the 1920s, found a way to overcome the magazines' conservatism. In writing his stories, he followed a simplistic and undeviating pattern with "snappy climaxes" and surprise endings, leaving a smile on the readers' faces. This craft, unfortunately, has not yet been given enough attention. One can by no means judge the excellence of Fitzgerald's craftsmanship by confining oneself to one well-crafted short story, yet, if one is asked for a specimen of an excellent short story, "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" constitutes an excellent choice. This study will examine "Bernice Bobs Her Hair," one of Fitzgerald's best, though sadly neglected stories and will show how this author not only mastered the techniques of the commercial story, but was also able to tailor his story in a way to meet the tastes and interests of his contemporary audience.

Keywords

Extra" He Had; Fitzgerald’s Craft ; "Bernice Bobs Her Hair